How can we teach sight words in kindergarten? Sight words are words that your students learn to read and place in their “sight word bank”. This means that they are able to read the word by sight, no longer needing to use decoding skills or phonics patterns to help them read. Once your students have a large sight word bank, it is a great resource to help them with both reading and writing skills.
Some sight words, referred to as high-frequency words, do not follow the rules of the English language and are therefore difficult to decode. These activities will help give your students lots of practice with these sight words so they will begin to recognize them by sight!
How Can I Help My Students Learn Sight Words in Kindergarten?
Just like many kindergarten teachers, I start my literacy lessons with a sight word of the day. Sometimes this sight word is brand new to the kids and other times it’s a word we have been practicing all week. We start by spelling it and reading it in a sentence. I have them write the word on a whiteboard and oftentimes I play a song about the sight word to help engrain the word in their minds. We always get these catchy tunes stuck in our heads, but it works!
I like to facilitate the learning of sight words with simple worksheets or task cards that have students reading the word, building it and then using it in a sentence. I have created these Sight Word Task Cards for you to use in literacy centers. They are extremely easy to laminate and use over and over. I just print the words we are focusing on that week and have them on hand to use throughout the day. They are great to have around for students that are struggling to remember their words as well.
Task Cards like these are great because they have the students using the words in multiple ways to help memorize them. As you can see, words like ‘said’ don’t follow the rules and most children spell it out ‘sed’. Once they learn the correct spelling by using scaffolding such as these worksheets, they read and write the word correctly.
I also love having my students write the sight words we are practicing during rotations. These Sight Word Writing Practice Worksheets are great to assign for classwork, homework or you can laminate them for center use.
How Can Technology Help?
Since students are living in such a digital age, I have also created Sight Word Boom Cards that can be used in the classroom or at home. These cards help students learn all 100 of Fry’s first 100 sight words and there are even 6 extra words to practice. Each word has 6 cards to expose your students to the words you are assigning them.
I typically assign the sight words based on the words we are learning that week and students can access them in technology centers or during literacy rotations. Then, at home they can access them for additional practice. If they are learning virtually, I can assign them through Google Classroom or Seesaw. Students (and parents) love how easy they are to use.
If you’re looking for some fun sight word activities for FREE, here are my Color Word Sight Words Fluency Books. My kindergartners enjoy folding the booklets and practicing their colors by reading and writing the words in multiple ways on each of these 11 FREE pages.
Sight Words are a ton of fun and I’ve found that my students really enjoy showing off the words that they know come assessment time. I hope you can make it fun by incorporating some of these ideas and resources in your primary classrooms!